What is dehydration?

Dehydration is the loss of water from the body tissues. Dehydration disturbs the balance of essential substances in your body. If it is not treated, dehydration can cause serious complications.

Dehydration can be caused by vomiting and diarrhea. These two conditions result in the body losing large amounts of water and nutrients. If you have three or more episodes of vomiting or diarrhea per day and are not drinking enough fluids, you could become dehydrated.

What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?

  • Dark urine
  • Small amounts of urine
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Flushed or dry skin
  • Coated tongue
  • Irritability and confusion
  • Dizziness with position changes


  • Drink two liters (about 64 oz) of non-caffeinated beverages each day. This can include, but is not limited to, juice, water, milk, decaf coffee or tea, Ensure®, Boost®, gelatin, or soup.
  • You will have your blood pressure and heart rate checked in both the sitting and standing positions while you are here at the clinic. If your blood pressure decreases or your heart rate increases, you will be given fluids through an IV. Administration of IV fluids usually takes 2 hours to complete.